Monday, September 12, 2005


I am back from the desert and my 30 day silent retreat! It was HEAVEN on earth! I am celebrating my 25th Jubilee this year of being a Dominican Sister and am soooooooo excited about it:) I want to thank BEGRATEFUL for her help on the blog while I was gone. Hope you are a regular begrateful:) Come again soon!
So we are moving into this beautiful Fall season, one of my favorites. What is it about Fall? There is something magical, more like mystical, about this season of Autumn. Maybe that could be a little jumping off point for us...What is your personal experience of Fall? Do you like this "transitional" season from the life of summer to the barrenness of winter? What does the autumn wind stir up in you? Blog on, my friends, I have missed you and it is so good to be back with you!
Always, your justbebecky :)


Blogger kyanite said...

Becky please tell us about your silent retreat. You described it as "HEAVEN on earth" which are exacly the words that came to my mind when I read you were going! I've never been on a one day silent retreat so I can't even imagine what 30 days would be like. I am very curious, so out with the details girl!!!

10:38 AM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hi Kyanite! Welcome to our blog! Gosh! It feels so long since I have been on and I apologize. Just needed the time to get things up and running at the parish after coming back from the summer :) So here I am!

Thank you for your question about my 30 day silent retreat! It still is so deep within me and I feel it always will be. I was at a Benedictine monastery in New Mexico (my homeland) so I used their daily prayer schedule as a structure for my day. They pray 7 times a day, and I made usually 5-6 of the prayer times, plus Eucharist. So, add the three meals (all in silence) and there was my basic framework each day.

I brought no books, save the New Testament and journal, and no CD music or guitar. My days and life are so filled with words, I really wanted to take this life-time opportunity to have very few words with me. I did bring my little windpipe (recorder) that I played sometimes in the evening and to hear it resonate across the canyon was absolute brilliance!

I had a lot of journaling time, a lot of nature time (4-6 mile walks a day), a lot of dream work interpretation, a lot of sitting on the front porch and watching the clouds go by:) some cross stich time, a lot of just being time...and ALL was prayer time! :)

It is amazing how the time goes by as you and the Lord are together. My whole intention for going was to spend 30 days thanking the Lord and saying I love you for the 53 (almost 54:) awesome years you gave me! But, after about the third day of all my thanks you's and I love you's, things were getting a little restless for me and then all of the sudden, the Lord quietly stepped in and I felt him say, "I have come, too, just to say I love you and thank you for your growing in love and service for these 53 years!" And from there the retreat began!!! WE do have a WITH kind of God, that cannot be outdone!

To be immersed in the silence of nature and God is an awesome combination, it is amazing how loud the love can be!

Will share more as you wish...just a little touch for now. I wish I knew how to put pictures on here, because I took some cool pictures with my cell phone camera (no service out there of course) and I'd love to share them with you!

God's peaceful silence be with you today, wherever the "noise" may be coming from!
With love, your justbebecky:)

3:13 PM  
Blogger begrateful said...

Justbecky thanks for sharing about your retreat just reading your reflections would want anyone to try one.
How was it praying 5-6 times a day? Didn't you just want to BE and not have any schedule? I bet the silence was just heavenly. Dying to hear more......more details for kyanite and begrateful

9:08 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Hi Begrateful, welcome back! :) I loved the prayers, as they were our "Liturgy of the Hours", that we pray at home, though we pray only Morning prayer, Evening Prayer and sometimes Night Prayer, of course, because, unlike the monks we are in active community ministry thru the day, which I love! :)

But their prayers gave a nice rythm to the day...
4:00am Vigils (went once on our St. Dominic's day to pray for our sisters special, otherwise, sleeping away:), 5:45am was Morning Prayer, 6:30am Liturgy, 8:45am Mid-morning Prayer,1:00pm Midday prayer, 3:30pm Mid-afternoon prayer (usually out hiking around the hills at that time:), 5:50pm Evening Prayer, and 7:30pm Night Prayer (usually taking a little evening walk with my God, Cosma, playing my windpipe:) anyway, it did not interfere with the silence, in fact it seemed to add to it, as the prayers are so "stilling" as they rise from the silence.

Come again, kyanite and begrateful, and all our blogging friends! Love and Prayers to all,
your justbebecky

10:25 AM  
Blogger kyanite said...

So you weren't directed (by a human) in any way? And the praying part, what's that all about. Were there formal prayers that you said ( or, I'm guessing, thought since it was a silent retreat) or was it just certain times everybody came together and prayed in there own way? Sorry for the questions on the basics but, like I said before, I've never been on a silent retreat.

8:13 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

I love your questions, Kyanite, keep 'em coming:) The prayers through the day are what the Catholic Church call "The Liturgy of the Hours" (meaning they gather through the "hours" of the day to pray) what that basically is that the group of people gathered sing or recite the psalms (usually 3) with a scripture reading and a usually takes around 25 minutes to pray. Now as the monks pray seven times a day they actually sing or recite all 150 psalms in a week! So, of course, during that time you are not silent, you are praying or singing out loud in a group (but not like talking to anyone).

Also, one usually has a spiritual director on the silent retreat that they meet with once a day a so for an hour to talk over all that is happening in their retreat at the time. As the monks do not provide spiritual directors at their place, I checked in with my spiritual director on line about once/twice a week. And that was very helpful! All in all, God is the director and a listening, open, heart can't go wrong!

Again, what seems to mystifying is the silence part, yet that is where the mystery lies....and the inner peace. The reason silence is hard for a lot of people is because the minute the outside environment is quiet (say like no radio or TV on, music, etc.) then they begin to hear all the noise INSIDE of themselves and they do not know how to turn that off. Well, for the most part it is not meant to be turned off, but confronted, faced, welcomed, embraced and brought to peace, especially if it is something disquieting.

That is another reason why God likes to use dreams as an avenue of communication with us (and they were used A LOT on my retreat) because it is a time when we are silent, quiet and he can speak through all kinds of (many times strange) symbols and images. But as we take the time (and courage) to unravel them, they all hold pure gold for our spiritual journey to self-knowledge!

Come again, Kyanite, I am loving our conversation! Peace, your justbebecky :)

9:39 AM  
Blogger begrateful said...

Hi everyone, just wanted to say I loved hearing about your retreat justbecky and Kyanite I would say you can do your own retreat daily as I do. I rarely watch TV and rarely listen to music or read when I am alone in my room, however, I have found that inner noise can be as loud as TV/music/reading all put together. But what I try and do is just sit and let the inner noise come and go and let God work in me. Often I fall asleep but on the days I don't they are so simple and nice, nothing incredible just simple and free. When I experience deep silence it is something else and it really helps me later on in my day. What has been happening lately is a real desire to sit and BE and I look forward to the time alone, I really do, it's as if an old friend is waiting to have dinner with me and hear all. What do you think?
Your's begrateful

4:55 PM  
Blogger kyanite said...

Well if you put it that way justbegrateful, I guess I have been on a few silent retreats. Over the last couple of years I have felt a strong desire to just sit and be. At first it was really hard because there is always something that needs to be done. I was feeling like maybe I was just getting really lazy, I mean how productive is just being?! I still struggle with that from time to time but it's getting alot better.

So Becky, what were Sundays like?

11:11 PM  
Blogger begrateful said...

Kyanite I would venture to say you are not being lazy.
Sitting for some time can be alot of work as many things come up inside of you that you are invited to look at which is not easy. I would also say that is is very productive, maybe not initially but later on it will be. It reminds me of what someone once said "If I am busy I spend 15-20mins in prayer but if I am extremely busy I spend 25-30mins in prayer."
Speaking from my own experience I have found when I take the time to be centered/Just BE I am much more productive at work and more available to people.
Anyway that's just me. Try it for a while and see what happens, just be open and don't expect anything and let us know what you think.
OK Gotta go.
Your's begrateful

10:45 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Begrateful you are right on with the BEING. It truly is the inroad to our true self, our truest self expressing God in the world. So much of our doing can be frantic and unfocused leaving us to believe that all that we see and do and think is all there is, when that is the furthest thing from the the truth.

Kyanite, I am glad you are taking some of that "silent" inner time. There seems to be a deeper call at points of our lives to go "within" and be in the stillness of God. It is not always easy, yet, what could be easier...than to just be? Productivity? I can assure you more is being created in the silence than could ever be produced by me!

Sundays were more prayer and time for being, walking, journaling, etc. In some ways, every day was a Sunday:)

So how are everyones autumn days going? Love and Peace, your justbebecky :)

3:57 PM  
Blogger JustBeBecky said...

Just a friendly HELLO to see how everyone is doing! Seems these days are full and abundant with God's love and grace!

I do love this time of year with Thanksgiving approaching. It is a wonderful time to remember the so many things we have to be grateful for! Tonight I I am grateful for all the friends that have "passed through" my life and those I still journey with day to day! ALL have blessed me deeply and I thank God for each one of them!

What are you grateful for these days:)
With Love and Joy, your sister, Rebecca

9:35 PM  

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